The regular trout season for most coastal and mountain streams opens tomorrow, Saturday.
This used to be my favorite day of the year.
My dad and his best friend, Al Maggini, and I would get up at 4:30 a.m. and plan to be on favorite local stream a half-hour before sunrise.
Our favorite local streams were all tributaries of Sonoma Creek. The first one I ever fished was the main stem of Sonoma Creek just below where Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is now. In those days it was private property – some of it actually belonging to Sonoma State Hospital (Sonoma Developmental Center).
Later, David Bouverie would allow us to fish in the canyon behind his home on Stuart Creek. That lovely tree-lined, shaded canyon, and the cold clear creek running through it remained our favorite local fishing spot well into the 1960s.
But other parts of Sonoma Creek were also fishable in those days, and I fished as far downstream as Leveroni Road.
Today, Stuart Creek, and virtually all of the other tributaries of Sonoma Creek, including the main part of the creek that runs through the Valley from Glen Ellen to Schellville is closed to trout fishing.
There is one very small part of Sonoma Creek above the seasonal falls in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park that will be open Saturday. I don’t know if there’s even enough water there to hold fish these days.
Trout fishing close to Sonoma Valley is pretty limited and you need to go to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website, wildlife.ca.gov, to download the regs and check out your favorite waters.
Most lakes are open all year. In fact, the DFW has been planting rainbow trout in Santa Rosa’s Lake Ralphine and Marin’s Bon Tempe Lake for the last several months.
The Russian River is open to trout fishing, but it’s not very good. The East Branch of the Russia River, above Lake Mendocino, is also planted by DFW and can be good at times.
Depending on the weather, snowmelt and other factors, the place I choose for trout fishing is the upper Sacramento River near Dunsmuir, nearly a four-hour drive north on Interstate 5.
I got a note from guide Hogan Brown that trout fishing on the Lower Yuba River near Marysville is good, as is the trout action on the lower Sacramento River near Redding. Hogan is also guiding fly-fishers who want to go after striped bass on the Sacramento River near Chico. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember you need a 2018 California angler’s license. You can purchase them locally at Brocco’s Old Barn on Arnold Drive.
Capt. Rick Powers at Bodega Bay Sportsfishing is reporting outstanding action for rock and lingcod off the Sonoma and Marin Coast. The clients on his party boat, New Sea Angler, are bringing home full limits of rock fish and near limits of lingcod to 28 pounds on a regular basis. To book a trip with Rick, call 875-3344.
Halibut, striped bass and sturgeon fishing is still very good in San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay. Call Keith Fraser at Loch Lomond Bait Shop for the latest conditions and to book a bay fishing party boat, 415-456-0321.